After a year of bureaucratic delays, officials Wednesday signaled the start of a $12 million project to turn a "foreboding" stretch of sidewalk near the Jamaica train station into a commercial hub catering to commuters.
The project, hatched in 2002, is the first phase of a $100 million economic revitalization of downtown Jamaica that aims tap into the area's importance as a key transit link to JFK Airport.
The first phase, known as the Sutphin Underpass Project, will create 5,500 square feet of retail space by revamping the eastern side of a viaduct that carries the Long Island Rail Road over Sutphin Blvd., between Archer and 94th Aves.
Make-over coming to Jamaica strip
A contractor is expected to be selected next week. Construction is expected to start in February and finish in July 2010.